Vertical Directories Help Niche Relevance

Last week we discussed voice search readiness for local businesses. This week we’re looking at the importance of building niche citations from vertical directories.

Are Your Clients Listed on Niche Vertical Directories?

In recent weeks, our focus has been on the various dimensions of our data amplifier network. Essentially, these are the integrated channels that ensure your clients’ businesses get found on Google Search, maps, mobile apps, wearables, GPS devices and a host of other platforms.

One of the underappreciated parts of business data distribution is vertical directories. Unlike the broad publishing outlets such as Google Business Profile and Yelp, vertical directories focus exclusively on a tightly-defined industry.

These vertical-specific listings offer businesses the chance to build valuable niche citations that are an integral part of local SEO. As you’ll know, Google’s primary ranking factors are proximity, prominence and relevance. Well, it’s the last of these three factors – relevance – that is enhanced when your clients get listed in niche-specific directories.

At Advice Local, we build niche citations in two vertical directory categories – healthcare and legal. Using directories like FindLaw, LegalReach, LawLink, RateMDs, Healthcare Reviews and eLocal Doctors, agencies working with doctors, dentists, hospitals and lawyers get direct access to niche, authority platforms through our business listings management services.

Why Do Niche Citations Matter?

As mentioned, Google is looking for relevancy when determining search visibility. Citations from niche platforms build trust, make it easier to categorize what a business is about – and provide increased authority.

But on top of these crucial benefits, vertical directories often rank for many niche-focused long-tail keywords. By publishing content on the legal or healthcare fields and featuring descriptions on each listing page, the directories prove relevant for a great number of search terms. And with a flow of targeted visitors coming to the website, businesses will be best placed to reap the rewards.

How We Identify Niche Directories for Our Network

We screen each directory in our data amplifier network to ensure it meets our high standards. When choosing vertical directories, some of the factors we look at include:

  • Commitment to quality – Quality vertical directories are spam-free, and are focused both on moderation and the platform’s long-term success.
  • Domain score – We look at the domain authority score and many other metrics to verify that the search engines view the directory favorably.
  • Accessible platform – Usability factors like navigation and user experience are important, while excessive ads also need to be considered.
  • Consistent traffic – Authoritative vertical directories should get consistent visit numbers from a range of traffic sources.
  • Adherence to niche-specific policy – The best vertical directories uphold strict guidelines to maintain the relevancy of the platform.

Unfortunately, many low-quality directories just aren’t immediately obvious upon first inspection. With the potential downsides of creating listings on low-quality platforms, we are careful to analyze for clear signs of authority and industry relevance.

How Vertical Directories Help Provide Niche Relevance by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Get Started Building Niche Citations With Vertical Directory Submissions

Vertical directory submissions are exclusively available as an add-on for local marketers and agency partners that order our real-time listing distribution services. To access the service and try our complete local presence management software, request a demo today by calling (214) 310-1356.

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Are Your Clients Getting Found in Voice Searches?

Last week we talked about growing a business’ presence with GPS accelerators. This week we’re focusing on voice search readiness and its role in our data amplifier network.

The Voice Search Expansion Continues

Just over a decade since its launch on Google and Siri, voice search has gone from a novelty to a mainstay in our lives. Increasing numbers of virtual home assistants, in-car navigation systems and mobile devices all employ voice search, and usage has steadily increased.

We’ve been talking about this technology for years at Advice Local, and have actively encouraged our agency partners to utilize voice search optimization. And with estimates suggesting that over 135 million U.S. users will use voice search at least once a month in 2022, your clients will have undoubtedly seen its benefits.

While many think of voice search solely as a research tool, that’s only part of the story. Even if consumers used assistants only for some initial business investigation purposes, it would still merit optimization efforts.

In practice, consumers are using voice search to find store locations, leave reviews, make purchases and more. Around 33.2 million U.S. shoppers are expected to use voice commands to add a product to a cart this year – and you can expect this number to keep on rising.

Getting Local Business Voice Search-Ready

In recent weeks we’ve been discussing our data amplifier network and the benefits of distributing business data across a wide selection of data aggregators, accelerators and enhancers. By distributing local business data to our network, you are essentially helping your local business clients get found via voice search more often than would otherwise be possible.

Voice Search Assistants Listing Distribution Helps Reach

  • Google Assistant – Integrate your phone, smart speaker, car, watch and more for a connected, personalized experience.
  • Bixby – Control your Samsung devices with voice commands. Use Bixby to find products, locate businesses and more.
  • Siri – Siri is integrated into all Apple devices, enabling users to search for businesses, set reminders and much more.
  • Alexa – One of the best-known voice assistants, Amazon’s Alexa lets you create a tailored smart home experience.
  • Cortana – Search the internet, find products and services, and increase productivity with this virtual assistant from Microsoft.

As you may know, Siri, Alexa and other assistants pull information from multiple platforms. For example, Alexa uses business data from Yelp and similar platforms. Siri also uses Yelp and other listings services to deliver reviews for restaurants and other providers. Cortana gets its business data from Bing Places, and so on.

We syndicate business data to the data sources these voice assistants trust the most. When aligned with voice search optimization, data submission to the most prominent sources helps a business be more accessible to voice search users.

Are Your Clients Getting Found in #VoiceSearch? by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Get Found in Voice Search With Advice Local

Want to know how well a client’s business is getting found on voice assistants? Take our Voice Search Readiness Test and find out now. To get complete access to our data amplifier network, request a demo now by calling (214) 310-1356.

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How to Grow a Business’ Local Presence With GPS Accelerators

Last week we discussed how data accelerators help with local presence management. This week we’re looking at the role of GPS accelerators for a business’ listing distribution.

GPS Accelerators and Their Role in the Local Search Ecosystem

Location-based searches have transformed the way local businesses promote themselves online. Back in 2016, Google revealed that almost one-third of all mobile searches were related to location. With the ubiquity of mobile devices today it’s probably safe to assume this figure has risen.

As the ways consumers find new businesses have changed, there’s a greater need to expand online visibility. Consumers search for nearby restaurants, stores, plumbers, mechanics and a whole host of other services before making a buying decision – based on proximity, reviews and other metrics.

As you will know, data amplifiers and data accelerators are at the core of this process. But more specifically, when it comes to ensuring that a client’s location is findable, GPS accelerators are your most valuable asset. GPS accelerators ensure that no matter the mapping app, GPS or in-dash navigation, a business will get found.

Reaching Consumers With GPS Accelerators

You may remember we discussed the importance of GPS accelerators not too long ago. We actually recommended the top five mapping apps and navigation solutions for local businesses. Yes, there’s a top five, but location-based searches take place across an even more broad array of platforms – which will only continue to increase.

At Advice Local, our data amplifier network includes the top data accelerators like Google, Bing and Apple Maps. However, we go well beyond that, utilizing the most popular GPS data accelerators in the industry.

GPS Solutions We Distribute Local Business Data To

We cover the significant manufacturers of GPS navigation systems such as:

  • Garmin
  • TomTom
  • Pioneer
  • Samsung

In-Dash Navigation Systems We Include for Business Listing Distribution

Next, we distribute data to in-dash navigation systems provided by brands like:

  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Fiat
  • Ford
  • General Motors
  • Mercedes
  • Toyota

Additional Mapping Apps We Include With Listings Management

Finally, we syndicate business data to mapping apps:

  • Here
  • Waze

By distributing your clients’ data to these platforms and many more, their vital data – name, address, phone number (NAP), opening hours – shows up for the consumers most likely to visit their locations.

How GPS Navigation and Mapping Apps Impact the Shopping Experience

It’s clear that GPS accelerators can submit business location data far and wide, but why is that important?

In brief, if a customer can’t find a business, how can they shop there? Beyond that, issues with bad data are magnified on navigation platforms. Consider the frustration of trying to find a store but finding it has moved – and this situation is more common than you’d imagine. According to the Business Listings Trust Report 2021, a study by BrightLocal revealed 85% of consumers found incorrect or incomplete information on a business listing in the last year.

And remember, the desire for location-specific data is quite likely to increase. Even in the last few years there’s been a growing demand for click-and-collect services, as Statista notes that 83% of consumers have tried a buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) service.

How to Grow a Business’ Local Presence With GPS Accelerators by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Start Distributing Accurate and Accessible Business Data With GPS Accelerators

Businesses need to get their data to the GPS platforms that count – and Advice Local makes it possible, easily and quickly. To learn more about our data amplifier network and agency partner solutions, request a demo today by calling (214) 310-1356.

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How Data Accelerators Help With Local Presence Management

Last week we looked at the importance of Bing Places for local businesses. This week we’re taking a closer look at data accelerators.

Enhancing Local Presence With Data Accelerators

Real-world consumer decisions are increasingly driven by online research. In practice this means shoppers turn to search engines, directories, mapping apps and voice assistants before they consider visiting a store. So how can a local business ensure they turn up in all the places consumers are searching?

Well, at Advice Local we include data accelerators in our business listing distribution solution. Making up a core part of our Data Amplifier Network, data accelerators are high-level search engines, mapping platforms and local resources. Alongside the other data publishing platforms, data accelerators contribute to an integrated data distribution strategy.

A quick reminder – data amplifiers are platforms that distribute and publish business name, address and phone number (NAP) details, opening hours and other important information across the internet. When other data sources trust these data amplifiers, they use the business data they find there to populate their own sources, essentially amplifying the data.

Our Data Amplifier Network includes a comprehensive list of search engines, premium directories, navigation systems, vertical directories and more. By submitting to the network, optimized and accurate data is syndicated far and wide, adding to a business’ visibility.

The Data Accelerators That Deliver for Businesses

At Advice Local, we have curated a group of the best platforms and submit business data to them through our dashboard. The data accelerators we include are:

  • Apple Maps
  • Bing
  • Google
  • Superpages
  • DexKnows
  • YP
  • Yelp
  • MapQuest

By submitting optimized data to these platforms, potentially millions of users can find a business – along with related information like reviews, location data, opening times, even coupons and offers.

But the power of data accelerators doesn’t end there. Many data accelerators act simultaneously as data amplifiers, syndicating local business data to their partner sites.

Because other sites naturally trust platforms like Google, Bing and Apple Maps, a business gets its brand amplified with no additional work required. In addition, data accelerators can potentially be data enhancers (premium directories that maintain the highest standards). At Advice Local, we work only with the best directories, so a data enhancer submission is a citation local businesses will want to have.

Local Search Technology Is at Every User’s Fingertips – Your Clients Should Be Too

As you know by now, we keep an eye on the future of local presence management. We’ve been talking about voice search and other technologies for years, always working to future-proof our local presence solutions.

Examining search trends clearly illustrates why data accelerators matter. Wearables, mobile apps, smart houses and other emerging systems and devices will turn to search engines and other high-grade platforms for their data. By submitting, managing and maintaining your data, you ensure that businesses get found where it matters.

How Data Accelerators Help With Local Presence Management by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Try Our Local Presence Management Solution

Advice Local makes it easy for businesses to get found online with our Data Amplifier Network and partner dashboard solution. To try our local presence management tools for yourself, request a demo today or call (214) 310-1356 to learn more.

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Why Businesses Shouldn’t Overlook Bing Places

The last time we were here, we looked at data aggregators and the local search ecosystem. This week we want to talk with you about Bing Places.

But we won’t tell you how to claim a Bing Places listing today since we’ve already done that. And we’re not going to cover how to optimize a Bing Places listing, because we’ve done that too! Rather, we are going to expand upon why Bing is so important.

Why Bing Places Matters for Local Businesses

Google is the dominant player in the search market, that’s a fact. But neglecting Bing means losing out on a vast amount of engaged traffic.

According to data published at Statista, Bing has around an 8.8% share of the worldwide desktop search engine market. The platform also gets 1.2 billion unique monthly global visitors.

Crucially, U.S. Bing user households earn over $100,000 per year, making them the exact type of consumer that most businesses want to attract.

Many solutions also use Bing as their default search engine. Microsoft’s own devices (such as the Xbox and Cortana) naturally use Bing Search. And many third-party products like Amazon Fire tablets also use Bing to power web searches.

The popular search engine DuckDuckGo uses Bing as one of its data sources, while LinkedIn uses Bing Search data for interest targeting.

bing places email example

It seems Bing is also trying to engage businesses with their listing services. One of our partners just received an email shown above. With many business owners underestimating Bing’s reach, it makes sense that Bing is proactively contacting users as a way to show the active user base within their grasp.

Now that we’ve presented why you should not ignore Bing, let’s discuss how at Advice Local we can help you create a Bing Places listing for your local business clients.

Efficient Data Distribution With Our Listing Management Solution

At Advice Local, we include creating Bing Places listings for the businesses submitted through our listing management solution for free. Since we create these listings via API, you will possibly want to go in and manually claim the listing later (so you can further optimize it).

One of our Advice Local partners shared their secret for leveraging our business listing solution to quickly and easily distribute local business data to Bing and other directories around the web.

Creating Local Business Listings Quick & Easy With Advice Local

  1. Optimize the business’ Google Business Profile on Google.
  2. Submit the business for listing distribution in our solution.
  3. Using the GBP Sync feature within your partner dashboard, sync the business’ Google Business Profile to your partner dashboard. The basic data about the business will automatically be populated in the Edit Client section of the dashboard for you.
  4. You’ll want to further optimize the business within your partner dashboard to populate the information that didn’t sync, such as the products, answer the voice search questions and so on.

You can take Bing optimization a step further by doing the following:

  1. Claim the Bing Places listing we created.
  2. Sync the business’ Google Business Profile with the Bing Places listing to incorporate any information that didn’t sync from the partner dashboard.
  3. Complete any additional information within Bing that didn’t sync.

Now you have created an optimized Google Business Profile, completed listing distribution for the business – and have an optimized Bing Places listing. It just doesn’t get much easier than that.

Why Businesses Shouldn’t Overlook #Bing Places by @BernieColeman #SEO
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The Premier Listing Management Software for Businesses

At Advice Local we prioritize quick and easy solutions to help local business clients get found – request a demo and we can do the same for you. Call (214) 310-1356 to learn more.

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Data Aggregators and the Power of Business Data Distribution

Last week we looked at data enhancers and the characteristics of high-quality directories. This week we’re focusing on another critical component of a data amplifier network – data aggregators.

Data Aggregators and the Local Search Ecosystem

From search engines and social media platforms to in-car navigation systems and mobile apps, the local search ecosystem is reliant on data. But how can you help local businesses ensure their business data is present on the ever-expanding collection of publishing platforms? And how is it possible to maintain accuracy on so many diverse sites, apps and systems?

If you’ve been following us for a while you know it already – the answer is data aggregators. Data aggregator access is one of the many features available within our listing management solution, one that helps our agency partners and local marketers just like you better serve their local business clients. Let’s cover data aggregators in more detail right now.

What Are Data Aggregators?

Data aggregators are platforms that collect, clean up and distribute name, address and phone number (NAP) details and other data to search engines, directories, review sites, apps and other publishers.

Search engines and other providers benefit greatly from a data aggregator, as they can access a substantial database of accurate business information. Platforms like Google Maps, Apple Maps, Bing and others rely on data aggregators to source precise listing details for their users.

Think about the frustration a search engine user experiences when visiting a business, only to find it’s closed. And what about a navigation system that directs you to a store… a store that has just moved to a new location? These issues highlight the importance of reliable data sources and emphasize the value of a data aggregator.

But What About the Benefits of Data Aggregators for the Business Itself?

Well, if you’ve ever engaged in manual citation building, the obvious benefits for any business are pretty straightforward.

  • Time – Manually adding citations to hundreds of platforms is a considerable task, and not the wisest use of your resources.
  • Accuracy – Adding each individual listing will inevitably lead to some mistakes along the way.
  • Discovery – Businesses must be accessible to potential customers, and comprehensive citation building makes this possible.

A Closer Look at the Big 4 Data Aggregators

At Advice Local, we include four data aggregators within our data amplifier network. These services are actually data amplifiers, as a single submission leads to syndication to hundreds of additional sources.

Data Axle

Data Axle (formerly Infogroup) operates a database of 16.7 million U.S. businesses. Data Axle collects an impressive level of information for each company, with 400 data attributes such as NAP, hours of operation, number of employees, online presence and more. This data gets distributed to the main search engines, 85% of large public libraries, plus many in-car navigation services.


Localeze has built partnerships with many leading directories, mobile apps, search engines and other platforms. Small businesses and large enterprises can submit listing information to over 100 platforms using True Identity™. This service ensures any business updates are simultaneously distributed to each platform in the network to prevent data discrepancies.


Foursquare is one of the most trusted data aggregators with over 400 integrations, including Apple, Samsung, Facebook and Twitter. Foursquare and Factual actually merged in 2020, taking their location-based services to the next level. Counting over 14 billion check-ins to local businesses and 500 million unique devices, the Foursquare network delivers accurate data to voice assistants, mapping apps, social media platforms and more. has built a database of over 490 million domains, and is trusted by clients like Google, PayPal and GoDaddy. Listings include 200 unique variables that range from business details to technical specifications. With one of the largest directories available, also delivers near real-time updates.

#DataAggregators and the Power of Business Data Distribution by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Data Aggregator Services From Advice Local

Advice Local helps agencies and marketers submit clients’ location data with our data amplifier network. Access our data aggregator, enhancer and accelerator partners from a single dashboard. Request a demo today to learn how by calling (214) 310-1356.

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Why Data Enhancers Are Integral to Local Presence Management

Last week we looked at Google’s attempts to win over Gen Z with their new Maps updates. This week we’re focusing on data enhancers and how they can help your local business clients.

Data Enhancers – The Smart Approach to Directory Listing Management

When it comes to the importance of business listings, opinions can certainly be divided. While almost all marketers and agencies agree that citations are required, just how much they should be prioritized is up for debate.

We’ve previously discussed how high-quality, accurate and updated listings play a major role in local pack listings. Google themselves hints at this when discussing the three major ranking factors – relevance, proximity and prominence. To determine prominence, Google suggests they use elements like trusted directories and reviews from across the web.

And that brings us to the topic of data enhancers. Directories that get consistent traffic and maintain high standards can be considered data enhancers. Frequently, when people discuss directories they are actually referring to low-quality, spam-filled sites that will not help a business with local search prominence at all.

In contrast, data enhancers like Judy’s Book, Brownbook, BubbleLife, Yellow Pages, Hotfrog and eLocal have higher domain authority, real users – and methods in place to minimize spam. You can see the full list of Advice Local data enhancers here.

Data enhancers offer a range of benefits for a local business trying to reach customers and improve search visibility. Some of the benefits include:

  • Targeted traffic.
  • Reputation building and consumer trust.
  • Increases local visibility in search results.
  • Connects consumers and businesses.
  • Promote offers and events.

Judy’s Book is a fine example of the type of directory that really counts. Described as a social search tool, Judy’s Book maintains high standards that prevent the decline often associated with lower-quality directories.

And crucially, Judy’s Book is also a data amplifier, meaning that businesses listed in this directory can have their data syndicated to a wider network of directories. This amplification ensures local businesses reach more consumers. Best of all, every business submitted through Advice Local’s business listing management partner solution gets a premium Judy’s Book listing for free. This benefit comes with additional features such as ad impressions on the free listings that are on Judy’s Book.

The Characteristics of a Quality Directory

So what should you look for in a quality directory? At Advice Local, we have our own methods for analyzing each site. Some crucial factors to look for include:

  • An authoritative domain with brand recognition.
  • An SEO-optimized and mobile-friendly website.
  • Location-based features to encourage discoverability.
  • Clear and user-friendly categories.
  • Spam-free listings.

When a platform has these characteristics it is likely to be an effective tool to increase local visibility for a business.

Why Data Enhancers Are Integral to Local Presence Management by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Access the Advice Local Data Amplifier Network

When you want the fastest, easiest approach to distributing your clients’ location data where it counts, Advice Local can help. We have a comprehensive list of data enhancers, amplifiers and other local presence management services within our dashboard. Try it today – request a demo now by calling (214) 310-1356.

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Is Google’s Latest Map Update a Move to Attract Gen Z?

Last week we discussed hyperlocal search and the need for local businesses to consider user-generated content (UGC), as Gen Z seems to value it the most.

Is Google Adapting Maps to Compete With TikTok and Instagram?

Google Maps’ latest update integrates 3D aerial views and provides cycling directions using crowd-sourced data from others. There’s also a social component that will notify designated friends when the user leaves or arrives at a destination.

But will this be enough to help Google Maps get the attention of younger generations? According to an article on Android Central Google needs to make a big move, like bringing video shorts to maps. While we don’t see this happening any time soon, it’s an interesting idea.

With Google itself admitting that around 40% of young people are more likely to use TikTok or Instagram than Google Maps or Google Search for a lunch recommendation, don’t be surprised to see future attempts to capture Gen Z, as the Android Central article suggests.

New Search Quality Rater Guidelines Clarify YMYL

Among the big things happening this week is Google’s release of another update to the search quality rater guidelines.

The guidelines clarified that YMYL (your money, your life) content – topics such as health, finance, news, politics and safety that could directly impact a person’s health and well-being – must have a high page quality rating. In order for these to rank highly in search results, they must exhibit EAT.

As we have discussed before, EAT (expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness) is a major factor, especially when it comes to YMYL content. And as the update shows, when the content could impact a person’s life negatively, Google’s raters are expected to ensure a high level of EAT.

This is exactly why we push the fact that you should be integrating EAT into your clients’ Google Business Profiles (GBP). EAT is important on the business’ website and throughout the GBP, as well as in other online listings.

As a reminder, you can integrate EAT by:

1. Demonstrating expertise in your industry, products and services.

Businesses can show expertise in a GBP by encouraging reviews and demonstrating their knowledge on the business’ website (that the Google Business Profile is linked to), as well as on other relevant places such as social media sites. Remember to upload videos that highlight skill and proficiency.

2. Showcasing authoritativeness by adding reliable and accurate information to your Google Business Profile.

In brief, a bare-bones profile is no longer enough to provide EAT, so make sure to include services, products and optimized images.

3. Building trustworthiness through open and honest communication.

Every business will get some negative reviews, but you can build trust by responding quickly and resolving issues. You can also ensure that opening hours, services information, specials and offers are up-to-date and accurate.

You can also strengthen EAT by adding questions and answers in the FAQ section of the Google Business Profile. Continue to publish relevant GBP posts, and always ensure the business’ information (such as contact info and attributes) is maintained and kept accurate.

As we have noted many times, proximity, prominence and relevance are the key local search metrics. But when there aren’t enough pages to satisfy all three conditions, prominence is frequently prioritized. Consequently, by focusing on EAT a business can increase its search presence over competitors who do not exhibit the same valuable qualities.

Is Google’s Latest #Maps Update a Move to Attract Gen Z? by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Get Help Increasing EAT – Try Our Google Authority Score

The Google Authority Score is an algorithm created by Advice Local to help agency partners monitor Google Business Profile performance. Marketers and agencies can analyze engagement, mentions and other metrics to reach more customers.

Our dashboard features such as GBP sync help keep your clients’ Google Business Profiles updated. Another feature within the partner dashboard allows you to auto-reject public edits. To learn more about our business listing management and Google Business Profile tools, request a demo today online or by calling (214) 310-1356.

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Why Businesses Need to Embrace Hyperlocal Search

Last week we looked at the closing down of the Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). Today we’re focusing on social media platforms and their impact on local search.

Social Media Platforms Are Attracting More Local Searches

Over this past week we’ve been seeing a trend in local marketing – and that is social media and local search. It’s become increasingly clear that platforms like Instagram and TikTok are capturing the attention of younger local consumers. And with consumers faced with more choices than ever, it’s important to stay on top of these changing trends.

First up – the announcement from Instagram that they’re introducing a new map experience. Users can now search the map, move it around to find popular locations and businesses, and have a more immersive experience. This update certainly increases the discoverability of businesses, with hyperlocal search making it possible to capture consumers’ attention when they are close by. We’ve talked about hyperlocal search and its importance before.

Understand that this change is not something for the future – it’s happening right now. Google confirmed that Instagram and TikTok are the go-to sites for many young people looking to discover local businesses. (It’s also shocking when Google admits something like this, as you can imagine.)

Their visually-rich design is one reason pushing the appeal of these social platforms. We’ve talked previously about the importance of adding many high-quality images to your Google Business Profile (GBP). And as younger generations grow up this need is certainly likely to increase. So if your local business clients want to appeal to these younger people, images across all the channels – social and otherwise – will be very important.

As highlighted by Fast Company, when Gen Z consumers want a place to shop or eat, they are just as likely to browse TikTok and Instagram as Google Search and Maps. Consequently, if you want to reach the most consumers, hyperlocal SEO should not be restricted to Google alone.

Naturally, when it comes to promoting on hyperlocal social media platforms, Nextdoor simply can’t be ignored. One example is the annual Neighborhood Favorites Awards, allowing consumers to vote for local businesses that offer excellent customer service. Based on a community’s social proof, this increased awareness can translate to real-world customer visits. As a reminder, you can create listings on Nextdoor for your clients through our listing management platform with ease. Simply place the order through your partner dashboard and we’ll get the listing created for you.

User-Generated Content Drives the Local Search Experience

There’s one common theme running through the stories highlighted above – user-generated content (UGC).

User-generated content is more than just images, videos and posts. Reviews are another type of UGC, and believe it or not, some companies are actually getting extorted by way of reviews! A story like this exemplifies the importance of reviews for local businesses, showing exactly why they need to be encouraged, monitored and responded to.

So, what can you do since the demand for UGC is on the rise and gaining popularity? First, make it easy for users to create UGC – and monitor the results. Make sure you’re creating content that users want to engage with… especially on the Google Business Profile.

While the younger generations prefer TikTok and Instagram, plenty of people use Google Search and Google Maps to decide where they’re going next. And currently, a GBP remains one of the best uses of time and resources for building a strong local presence.

Why Businesses Need to Embrace Hyperlocal #Search by @BernieColeman #SEO
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How to Improve Business Listings With the Google Authority Score

At Advice Local, we developed the Google Authority Score (GAS) to help you understand how a business’ Google Business Profile is performing in search results. GAS calculates brand mentions, engagement, influence velocity and more. To learn more about GAS and our other tools from Advice Local, request a demo today.

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The GMB App Is Gone – Now Edit GBPs in Search or Maps

Last week we discussed Foursquare and their data syndication delays. This week we’re looking at the news that the Google My Business app has been shut down.

Google Has Retired the Google My Business App

Today we report sad news – the Google My Business App is no longer available. Yes, we all knew it was coming but we hoped it couldn’t be true! However, when a user clicks to open the Google My Business app on their phone, they now get a message directing them to manage their Google Business Profile (GBP) from search results or Google Maps.

image of app is no more

For agencies that manage multiple Google Business Profiles, the Google Business Profile Manager is still available. The difficulty arises for those businesses or local marketers that are managers of only one GBP.

You can do all the same things from search on mobile that you can do from the Business Profile Manager – it just takes a few more clicks. Shown below is an example of how it looks when editing a Google Business Profile in search results on a mobile device.

image example editing from mobile search

With the mobile app going away, another of the biggest changes concerns notifications. Businesses (or those who manage a business’ GBP) need to make sure they have it set so they receive notifications about the business via email.

Plus, if messaging is turned on, make sure you have Google Maps set to give you notifications, so you can know right away if someone messaged a GBP that you manage.

Are Your Clients’ Google Business Profiles Protected From Spammers?

While we are on the subject of managing a Google Business Profile, have you noticed an increase in others trying to assume ownership of your clients’ GBPs? Several of our partners have contacted us regarding this issue.

This seems to happen more often to the businesses that are not regularly updating and monitoring their GBP. You must ensure that the email address you use to manage your clients’ GBPs is being monitored.

In the past, agencies would create a placeholder Gmail account to admin their clients’ GBPs, but they would not regularly read the emails received at the account.

However, did you know that if someone requests ownership of a Google Business Profile and the request isn’t rejected within three days by someone that manages the listing, ownership can be granted to the user requesting ownership? When that transpires, they can actually remove the real owner and managers! This tactic is used against Google Business Profiles all the time.

Picture this… it’s Friday 9 a.m., and a spammer requests ownership of your client’s GBP. Monday 9 a.m. is three days away. Scary thought, right? Over that weekend you could lose ownership of your client’s Google Business Profile.

This example also shows exactly why a business should have multiple managers of a GBP. What if the owner was to be out of town with no access to email for the three days? Eeek!

A GBP that goes unmanaged can have havoc wreaked upon it – here’s an example of a Google Business Profile that students got renamed because it wasn’t being monitored. From competitors getting a GBP removed completely to spammers taking it over, no business can afford to let their Google Business Profile go unmanaged.

The #GMB App Is Gone – Now Edit GBPs in Search or #Maps by @BernieColeman via @Advice_Local #SEO
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